Seagate ships 18TB Exos disk drive

Seagate has begun shipping the 18TB nearline Exos X18 disk drive and is quoting an MSRP of $561.75.

The nearline disk drive capacity race is hotting up – Western Digital has shipped 18TB drives since July and Seagate aims to ship 20TB drives by the end of the year. We expect Seagate to ship 18TB IronWolf NAS drives later this month. 

The company today also released upgraded Exos AP controllers that enable its AP-2U12 storage arrays to handle Exos X18 drives.

Ken Claffey, GM of enterprise data solutions at Seagate, said the Exos X18 drives and upgraded controllers means the company “offers the industry’s leading density and configurability with ease of deployment for data lakes and private storage clouds.”

Exos X18

The helium-filled Exos X18 spins at 7,200rpm and has either single 6Gbits/SATA or dual 12Gbit/s SAS interfaces. The drive has a 256MB cache, features Instant Secure Erase, a 2,.5m hours MTBF rating, and comes with a five-year warranty.

We think it has nine platters, like the 16TB Exos, and understand it is the highest capacity conventionally recorded drive Seagate will produce – before moving to heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology at the 20TB capacity level.

AP arrays

Seagate today announced the Exos AP 2U12 array, using the 18TB spinners, and said the AP 4U100 is getting a new controller. It also has a Nytro AP 2U24 system coming soon. 

With the latest announcement there are four AP systems:

  • Exos AP 2U12 –  12 x 3.5-inch 18TB Exos drives (216TB)
  • Nytro AP 2U24 – 24 x 2.5-inch SSDs (coming soon)
  • AP 4U100 – up to 1.6PB 
  • AP 5U84 – up to 1.344PB

Seagate got into storage arrays in 2015 via the $694m acquisition of Dot Hill, an OEM supplier of drive array chassis. This business is now part of Seagate’s Cloud Systems division. The portfolio includes the Exos drives and Application Platform (AP) arrays, which Seagate describes as compute and convergence platforms. They are sold to OEM customers such as Cloudian, in a continuation of the Dot Hill business  model.